Three adults and a toddler escaped the flames that consumed the home in the 300 block of Old Lincoln Highway. A three-year-old girl, her parents and a grandmother were able to get out before firefighters arrived. Malvern Fire Chief Neil Vaughn tells Patch that all four were taken to Paoli Hospital for treatment and observation. None of the victims had life-threatening injuries.
The family's pets did not survive the fire. Vaughn says two cats and two dogs perished. Firefighters on the scene told Patch that one of the adults may have attempted to go back into the burning house to try to save the animals but was pushed back by the intense heat, flames and smoke.
Now the as-yet unidentified family is faced with recovering not only from the physical and emotional trauma of the disaster but also with finding a place to live and the most basic necessities.
T&E Care, the Community group formed several years in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to assist local families in urgent need, is helping with a $300 Target gift card to get the fire victims started with basic necessities (literally the clothes on their backs). T&E Care is also awaiting word on how you can help the family. Patch will update that information as it becomes available.
The fire broke out at 7:30 Tuesday morning in the single family dwelling and quickly drove firefighters into what Chief Vaughn described as a "defensive" approach to fighting the blaze from outside the building and to keep it from spreading to neighboring structures.
Firefighters from Malvern, Paoli, East Whiteland and Berwyn were still on the scene at 11 a.m. spraying water and foam on the building to make sure there were not hot spots or burning embers before a recovery crew boarded the house up.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Chester County and State Fire Marshals. That is standard operating procedures in fires like this and does not indicate anything about the cause of the fire.
- Patch will continue to update this story as new details become available.